In Beirut, a small sports technology startup is also aiming to make a splash in the sector with its heart-rate monitor that tracks a swimmer’s laps, turns and timing, and can be fitted to any pair of goggles.
Instabeat’s monitor provides instant visual feedback on a swimmer’s heart rate and is designed to limit the level of drag when flowing through the water.
The company has already been making waves in the Middle East’s startup scene. It just closed an undisclosed round of funding from a group of Middle Eastern investors to produce the product and will begin delivering 1000 pieces in the first quarter of next year, according to founder Hind Hobeika.
Dubai-based Jabbar Internet Group, Jordan-based MENA Venture Investment and a group of angel investors have stumped up this latest round of cash. But Instabeat also raised $75,000 last year on U.S. based crowdfunding site Indiegogo and won $50,000 in 2012 for winning the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab competition, she said.
“We’re creating a small community around the product,” said Ms. Hobeika, who started the company after swimming professionally while studying mechanical engineering at American University of Beirut.